Reuniting Reformed churches would stir discord, study says

Leaders urge continuing increase in shared works
The two sisters grew up worshiping in the same church. Today, they feel like they still are—despite being in different denominations.

So, Patricia Roek and Lynda Barendse-Witte ask, why not reunite the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) with the Reformed Church in America (RCA), from which the CRC broke away nearly 150 years ago? After all, they say, the churches they attend are virtually the same in worship style and theology. “I think it would be a very good healing process,” said Roek, who was raised in the CRC but is now a member of an RCA congregation.

The two sisters aren’t alone in thinking it’s time to mend the CRC and RCA schism of 1857. On the eve of the CRC’s 150th anniversary this year, many in the two Dutch Reformed denominations believe that they could offer a stronger Christian witness as one church. But in a newly released comparative study of the CRC and RCA, the authors caution that an organizational merger would come at considerable cost.


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